CMS proposes behavioral healthcare expansion under Medicare

CMS's new proposed rule seeks to expand behavioral healthcare under Medicare by creating an intensive outpatient program for psychiatric services.

The proposed program defines the scope of benefits for intensive outpatient behavioral health services for patients battling an acute mental illness or substance use disorder. If finalized, the services covered may be offered in hospital outpatient departments, community mental health centers, federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics, according to a July 13 fact sheet from CMS.

The proposal aligns with the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023, which requires the HHS's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to identify and establish behavioral health practices to best care for individuals experiencing mental health and substance use crises. The cost of services and treatments will be determined based on the amount of money that Medicare has already paid for similar services, according to the report.

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